Calorie Restriction Diet Management in Crofton, MD
You probably think of calories only as they relate to food and how many are in your favorite dish. However, calories are actually units of energy that allow your body to perform normal bodily functions such as breathing. This is why it is important to consult your medical provider before starting a calorie restriction diet.
While everyone's bodies are different, make sure you take in at least 1,800 calories every day to keep your body working at its best, but no more than 2,700 calories a day if you are a man or 2,200 a day if you are a woman. Taking in more calories than you can use up causes your body to store the extra energy as fat, and you gain weight (personal caloric intake numbers may vary, what may work for one person, may not work for all, consult your doctor or a qualified nutritionist for more info).
Pros and Cons of Calorie Restriction
Obesity is a serious problem in the United States and just about everyone feels like they want to lose a pound or two. Losing weight means you will need to move more and take in fewer calories. This means changing your diet so that you still get the important nutrients you need in order to stay healthy, but with lower caloric numbers.
This is known as a calorie restriction (CR). There is plenty of debate about the best way to restrict your calories, but if you are interested in weight loss, experts say that you should also add exercise to your plan for the biggest benefit.
It's important to not to cut your calories too much. Taking in less than 1,200 calories per day can cause your body to use muscle as energy and can lead to nutritional deficiency and even kidney issues.
If you are interested in cutting your calories, see your healthcare provider or a nutritionist for guidance so you stay healthy and lose weight. Experts say you can lose one pound a week if you cut 500 calories a day from your meals.
What can I eat if I'm following a calorie restriction?
The key to successful calorie restriction is to eat foods that fill you up but are low in calories. Make sure to eat three meals a day; a snack in between is fine. Waiting too long between meals or skipping meals altogether leads to impulse eating and poor diet choices. Plan ahead, keep healthy snacks with you at all times and pack your lunch whenever you can.
Here are some food choices you may consider:
- Use heart-healthy olive oil in the place of butter or margarine
- Eat raw veggies with fat-free Ranch dressing as a snack
- Have fruit for dessert instead of sweets
- Baked or broiled low-fat meats like chicken or fish
- Take in high-fiber foods like plain oatmeal with fruit
- Avoid fast food to cut down on hidden ingredients like fat and salt
Calorie Restriction & Portion Control
Calorie restricted diets still leave plenty of room for occasional treats. Keep serving sizes under control. Even a low-calorie snack won't do much good if you eat three or four times the recommended amount.
Keep baked or broiled meats to a portion about the size of a deck of cards, and fill the rest of your plate with fruits or vegetables and use low-calorie flavorings like lemon or salt-free seasoning in the place of butters or dressings.
Find out more about how to start a calorie restriction diet by contacting us at (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online.
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